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Government Ownership of Railroads, and War Taxation   By: (1867-1934)

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Government Ownership of Railroads, and War Taxation by Otto Hermann Kahn is a thought-provoking and enlightening exploration of the issues surrounding the government's control over railroads and its impact on war taxation. Kahn's comprehensive analysis provides readers with a deep understanding of the complexities involved in these subjects.

One of the book's most commendable aspects is Kahn's meticulous research and extensive knowledge on the topic. The author delves into the history of government ownership of railroads across different countries, providing a comprehensive overview of the successes and failures associated with this approach. Kahn's inclusion of real-world examples allows readers to contextualize the challenges and benefits of government control effectively.

Moreover, Kahn's analysis of war taxation is another highlight of the book. He argues that the government's ability to generate revenue during wartime is crucial for successful military operations. Through detailed explanations and examples, Kahn illustrates how war taxation has evolved over time and provides a compelling case for its importance to a nation's defense. His examination of this complex relationship is engaging and thought-provoking, shedding light on a topic often overlooked or misunderstood.

Furthermore, Kahn's writing style is clear and accessible, making this book suitable for both experts and casual readers. Despite dealing with intricate economic and political concepts, the author breaks down complex ideas into digestible segments, ensuring that readers can grasp the core arguments easily.

One minor criticism of the book is that the author occasionally goes into technical details that may overwhelm readers with a limited background in economics or politics. However, this can be easily remedied by focusing on the broader arguments and ideas presented throughout the text.

In conclusion, Government Ownership of Railroads, and War Taxation is a highly informative and thought-provoking read that explores the multifaceted relationship between government control of railroads and war taxation. Otto Hermann Kahn's expertise and research make this book an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the historical and contemporary implications of these issues. Both informative and accessible, this work is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the complexities of government involvement in these critical sectors.

First Page:

Government Ownership of Railroads, and War Taxation





Paternalistic control, even when entirely benevolent in intent, is generally harmful in effect. It is apt to be doubly so when, as sometimes occurs, it is punitive in intent.

The history of our railroads in the last ten years is a case in point.

In their early youth our railroads were allowed to grow up like spoiled, wilful, untamed children. They were given pretty nearly everything they asked for, and what they were not given freely they were apt to get somehow, anyhow. They fought amongst themselves and in doing so were liable to do harm to persons and objects in the neighborhood. They were overbearing and inconsiderate and did not show proper respect to their parent, i. e., the people.

But the fond parent, seeing how strong and sturdy they were and on the whole, how hustling and effective in their work, and how, with all their faults of temper and demeanor, they made themselves so useful around the house that he could not really get along without them, only smiled complacently at their occasional mischief or looked the other way. Moreover, he was really too busy with other matters to give proper attention to their education and upbringing... Continue reading book >>

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